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Jon Ryan, Iowa Small Business Development Center, (515) 292-6351
Lars Peterson, Iowa Small Business Development Center, (515) 440-1626
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) intends to reopen a Southwestern Iowa office, tentatively planned for October. The SBDC is an outreach unit of Iowa State University's College of Business.

Two full-time SBDC centers formerly serving that area, one at Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), Council Bluffs, and the other at Southwestern Community College (SWCC), Creston, were shut down June 30, 2002, following a 57 percent state budget cut to the SBDC. A part-time center in Audubon was closed at the same time.

"This Southwestern Iowa office is vitally needed at a time when Iowa has experienced a 90 percent reduction in business relocations during the past five years and when the Southwestern Iowa economy is struggling to rebound from plant closings and job losses," said Jon Ryan, state director of the Iowa SBDC.

Ryan said the new SBDC office will focus on growing businesses in the Southwestern counties of the state. That strategy has proven successful in other areas. SBDC assistance to Iowa firms has resulted in $32 million in additional sales, more than $68 million in financing and retention of about 230 Iowa jobs.

Ryan gives a lot of credit to the many concerned citizens in southwest Iowa, including area bankers, chambers of commerce, community college personnel, legislators and business people, for the reopening of the much-needed SBDC center.

"Without their help, this reopening would not have happened this soon," said Ryan.

The new, full-time office will initially serve a 15-county area. The SBDC has already begun to seek additional local funding for the creation of a second, part-time SBDC office, Ryan said. He said the SBDC also will utilize its Iowa Business Network Web site ( and other technology tools to assist small businesses in rural areas as part of the renewed service.

The two community colleges, IWCC and SWCC, will partner to host the center, which will be in Council Bluffs.

The SBDC is in the process of hiring a new center director; Iowa Western Community College is accepting applications. For more information, contact Mark Stanley, director of economic development for IWCC, at (712) 325-3375.


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